Operation Ore got its start in the U.S. as Operation Avalanche after the FBI investigated and shut down Landslide Productions, a Fort Worth, Texas-based company owned and operated by Thomas and Janice Reedy, who sold subscriptions to websites offering child pornography.
In September 2002, FBI investigators called the business the largest commercial child pornography enterprise ever uncovered with nearly 35,000 customers, grossing as much as $1.4 million in just one month.
A federal judge sentenced Janice Reedy to 14 years in prison and Thomas Reedy to 15 years for each of the 89 counts with which he was charged.
His final sentence totaled 1,335 years in prison.
After the convictions, the FBI released the names of their international subscribers to Interpol.
With Operation Ore, British authorities have arrested 50 police officers, judges, two members of Parliament, doctors, and legendary rock star Pete Townshend of The Who.
News reports also indicate that the FBI is ready to turn over another 8,000 leads as a result of a separate child pornography investigation. British police said they have determined that nearly one in five of those arrested was also sexually abusing children.
Monday’s announcement by British officials won’t be the last for Operation Ore.
“It is not possible to predict how many more individuals will be prosecuted in the next 12 months, said Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland of Asthal.